Inexperience and rushing lead to loader tip-over

Safety Alert Type: 
Heavy Equipment
Location: 
South Okanagan Valley
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2012-09-10
Company Name: 
Lusted Logging Ltd.
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

A worker with over 30 years’ experience in the logging industry had recently switched jobs to operate a track loader - a job he had never done before.

He had been closely supervised for two weeks and when he demonstrated appropriate skill, was allowed to load with reduced supervision. A second loader was loading as well to minimize any need for the new worker to rush. He loaded about 12 loads without direct supervision with no problems noted.

He was part way through loading another truck and was swinging a part grapple full with the boom ¾ extended. The left side track suddenly dropped and the machine slowly tipped over, ending up with the cab side down against an adjacent log deck and the grapple full of logs crossways between the load and the bullboard (see photo in attached pdf).

The investigation showed that the operator had failed to build a good working platform for loading, had placed a track on a two foot stump for leveling and hadn’t directed the truck into a more favorable position. As the machine swung, the track slipped off the stump causing the machine to tip.

The operator said he knew he was loading slower than a regular loader operator would and felt rushed as he was worried about delaying the trucks.

Note - Good habits prevented injuries:

1. The loader operator had his seatbelt on and secured tightly.

2. The truck driver was in the clear during loading.

3. No logs or equipment were ever over the cab.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

• Workers with substantial experience present unique requirements for training and supervision when switching to new jobs.

• Loader operators should always take the time to set up safely for loading.

• Supervisors should reinforce the value of good habits for minimizing the potential results of incidents.

For more information on this submitted alert: 

For more information contact: Tom Lusted, Lusted Logging Ltd.  250-499-6201

File attachments
Inexperience and rushing lead to loader tip-over.pdf
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